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A Maijuna Family


Strategic Area: People -
Content Type: Blog
Country: Peru -

3-Million-AcreDeep in the Peruvian Amazon, just minutes before the declaration ceremony that would officially create his tribe’s first reserve, Sebastian Rios Ochoa, a 62-year-old member of the indigenous Maijuna community spoke with sadness of the illegal logging that devastated his community:

“The loggers demolished everything; the woods, the animals, the fish, they even hunted frogs. We were left with nothing but our hunger and our poverty.” 

But Sebastian’s face brightened as he spoke about how his people began to reclaim their land with the support of Nature and Culture International.

“For three years now we have been taking care of our homeland, and the animals are finally returning. You once again see peccaries and monkeys near the community, the fish are growing in number, our children are eating better.”

The story of the creation of the Maijuna Reserve started when Romero Rios, a Maijuna chief, walked into Nature and Culture International’s office in Iquitos, Peru with a remarkable request. He and his fellow Maijuna, of which only 500 are left, had a vision of establishing a large conservation area that would protect their four remaining villages. They had heard from other indigenous tribes that NCI could help.

We are proud to say that the Maijuna Regional Conservation Area is now established! Nature and Culture International, working alongside the regional government of Loreto and the Maijuna people, created this vast reserve that is larger than California’s Yosemite Park. It now protects extraordinary biological diversity including peccaries, tapirs, monkeys, giant river otters, and several species of cats, including the jaguar. It also protects the Maijuna people’s ancestral homeland, the place they have lived in balance with nature for centuries.

Read more about the Maijuna Reserve in The Huffington Post: